Dog owner surrenders 60 pets

Published 8:48 am Thursday, March 27, 2014

MURFREESBORO – A local dog owner has opted to surrender his pets.

On Monday, 60 Australian Shepherds, including 13 puppies, were rescued from the home of Terry Shinaberry, according to information provided by the United States Humane Society (USHS).

Shinaberry resides on Pinetops Road, south of Murfreesboro near the Hertford-Northampton County line. After being visited by law enforcement officials regarding concerns about the welfare of the dogs on the property, Shinaberry agreed to surrender all of his dogs and cease operations of an alleged “puppy mill” (breeding animals to sell).

The Humane Society said Shinaberry claimed he was operating an animal rescue service; however there was evidence that dogs were bred on his property….a singlewide mobile home with a yard surrounded by fencing.

One published report said Hertford County Animal Control launched an investigation after receiving information about an individual who purchased a dog from Shinaberry, and then took it to a veterinarian who said the animal had received improper care.

The Hertford County Sheriff’s Office called in USHS to rescue and remove all of the dogs. The Guilford County Animal Shelter, the Virginia Beach SPCA, The Norfolk SPCA, and the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina were also on the scene to assist, according to the USHS.

“We are grateful that the breeder made the humane choice to surrender these dogs so that they may have a chance at a happy life,” said Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for USHS. “Sadly, these situations are not uncommon in our state. That is why we sincerely hope our lawmakers will pass a law this session to crack down on puppy mills.”

There are no specific North Carolina laws to protect dogs sold directly to the public or online by commercial breeding facilities. Law enforcement officers, therefore, are unable to prevent neglect until it reaches crisis proportions. As a result, North Carolina has become a haven for some of the worst puppy mill operators in the country. This is the 19th rescue that HSUS has assisted with in North Carolina since June 2011. Last week, two DuplinCounty men were charged with animal cruelty after nearly 50 dogs were found outside of Faison in a suspected puppy mill.

Shinaberry’s dogs have been safely transported from the property and will be thoroughly examined by teams of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical treatment.

HSUS has established a reward program to offer up to $5,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of a puppy mill operator for animal cruelty. Persons wishing to report a valid tip are encouraged to call 1-877-MILL-TIP and will remain anonymous.

This latest rescue was made possible through The Puppy Mills Campaign’s Breeder Surrender Fund and through the generosity of Paige Noland—a long-time advocate and HSUS supporter.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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